Church Staff

General inquiries can be sent to office@morningsidepc.org.



Rev. Dr. Baron A. Mullis
Senior Pastor and Head of Staff
404.876.7396 ext. 11

The Rev. Dr. Baron A. Mullis, Morningside's Senior Pastor and Head of Staff, came to Morningside Presbyterian Church in January, 2011 with an excitement to lead the MPC faith community into its new chapter; fostering its continued growth and supporting and developing opportunities for its young people. Prior to joining the MPC family, Baron served as the Associate Pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, North Carolina for almost nine years. Prior to this, he was a Lake Fellow in Parish Ministry, serving at Second Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dr. Mullis is an accomplished graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary and of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. At Princeton, he earned a Doctorate of Ministry in 2010. His doctoral dissertation took an interdisciplinary approach to the question: “Why do People Give?”  While studying at Princeton, Baron was honored to have been selected as a Seminary Fellow, and in 2000 won the prestigious Grier-Davies Prize in Preaching.

Baron's articles and sermons are published by a broad range of media, from The Presbyterian Outlook to Morehouse College. His social outreach reflects his deep value of hospitality and inclusion as he serves on the board of Intown Collaborative Ministries (Chair 2013-2015) and the Covenant Network of Presbyterians. When Baron is not at the church, he enjoys cooking and making wonderful soups and stews, reading mystery novels and classics, and spending time with family and friends. He and his spouse live outside of Decatur with their two dogs, Jack and Tucker.



The Rev. Beth Waltemath
Associate Pastor (Interim)
404.876.7396 ext.14

The Rev. Beth Waltemath joined Morningside's staff on a part-time interim basis in September 2016, while retaining her position as co-pastor of North Decatur Presbyterian Church which she shares with her husband, The Rev. David Lewicki.

A graduate of The University of Virginia and Union Theological Seminary in New York City, she served First Presbyterian of Brooklyn as associate pastor before moving to Atlanta in 2010. In 2013, The Rev. Waltemath received a Lousiville Institute Pastoral Study Grant to research the effects of trauma on pastors, theologians and creative writers and the healing potential of contemplative prayer practice. She is a certified teacher in Cognitively Based Compassion Training through the Emory-Tibet Partnership. She also is a freelancer reviewer, editor and writng teacher. Her blog sayinggrace.co features reviews and author interviews and her classes are offered through Columbia Theological Seminary's Lifelong Learning program.

Beth and her husband have three children. She serves on the board of the Decatur Book Festival and volunteers in writing workshops at her kids' schools.

Effective January 2, 2018, Rev. Emma Neishloss will join our staff as Associate Pastor, with primary responsiblity for Youth Ministries, Mission Ministries and adult discipleship.




Rev. Dr. Joanna M. Adams
Pastor Emerita


Preacher, pastor, and teacher known for building bridges of understanding in both the community and in the church—the Rev. Dr. Joanna M. Adams continues to fill many roles since stepping down from her position as Morningside Presbyterian's Senior Pastor and Head of Staff in January 2010. In January 2012, MPC was proud to honor Joanna as the church's Pastor Emerita.

A graduate of Columbia Theological Seminary, Rev. Adams holds an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Davidson College and was awarded the Alumni Association Medal of Honor from Emory University and Columbia’s Distinguished Alumni/ae award. She has also served as a trustee of the Presbyterian Church Foundation, Agnes Scott College, and Columbia Theological Seminary. In 2006, the Rev. Adams was named Georgia Woman of the Year and has been featured in Atlanta Magazine as one of the forty-five most loved Atlantans. In 2014, she was named Woman of the Year by the YWCA of Greater Atlanta. She has preached at the National Cathedral, the Memorial Church of Harvard University, and the Chautauqua Institution, as well as at many Presbyterian and ecumenical events. She has authored over 40 published articles, sermons, and chapters in books. Rev. Adams has been involved in starting more than a dozen non-profit organizations, including Intown Collaborative Ministries, the Agape Center, and the Georgia Committee for Religious Liberty. She has also coordinated a series of Christian/Jewish dialogues in Atlanta under the sponsorship of the Institute of Christian and Jewish Studies in Baltimore, MD. For five years, she and four other clergy leaders in Atlanta made up Higher Ground, an initiative of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, which encouraged civil discourse and brought insight and wisdom from their different religious traditions to bear on contemporary challenges.

From 2013-2014, Rev. Adams served as Interim Senior Pastor of First Presbyterian church in Atlanta. Prior to serving as Morningside's Senior Pastor, she was Senior Pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church and of North Decatur Presbyterian Church, also both in the Atlanta area. She began her ministry as Associate Pastor and Minister to the Community at Central Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, and served for two years as Co-Pastor of Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago. Across the years, Joanna has chaired the boards of five institutions, including Columbia Theological Seminary, the YWCA of Metro Atlanta and Our House, the first center in DeKalb County designed to serve families who are homeless and their children. Overall, she has served on the boards of over twenty organizations that strive to help the least, the lost, and the left out. Currently she serves on the boards of the Grady Hospital Foundation, Skyland Trail, the Rockdale Foundation, Day1, and Presbyterian Homes of Georgia.

Joanna and her husband, Atlanta attorney Alfred B. Adams III, have a daughter, a son, and two grandchildren.



Dr. Jonathan Crutchfield
404.876.7396 ext. 23


Dr. Jonathan Crutchfield joined MPC as Organist/Choirmaster in September 2015, when he also became responsible for our Children's Choir programs.

With more than 30 years in organ performance and choral conducting, Dr. Crutchfield most recently served at Myers Park Baptist Church in Charlotte. He holds a bachelor's degree in piano performance from Southern Wesleyan University, a master's degree in choral conducting from Florida State University, and a doctorate in choral conducting from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Jonathan has accompanied choirs and soloists internationally and is a published composer of works for organ, brass, and human voice. One of his current activities is teaching music in South Africa under the auspices of the International Partnership for Choral Music Education. He is also accompanist for rehearsals and performances of the professional Atlanta choral ensemble, Coro Vocati.


mardee 3

Dr. Mardee Rightmyer 
Director of Children's Ministries 
404.876.7396 ext. 15

Effective June 1, 2017, Morningside welcomed Dr. Margaret Dee (Mardee) Rightmyer as our full-time Director of Children's Ministries. A member of our congregation and an ordained elder, Mardee comes to us from Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Stone Mountain, GA, where she directed Christian Education starting in 2010. She earned her doctorate of Educational Ministry from Columbia Theological Seminary and also holds a Master of Arts degree in that field, as well as being certified as a middle-school teacher of English and Social Studies.

Mardee has served as adjunct faculty at Columbia Seminary and as director of the resource centers of both the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta and the Synod of South Atlantic. She is in great demand nationwide as a conference director, workshop leader, and advisor for students seeking CE accreditation. She's also active in the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators. Earlier in her career, she taught English as a volunteer in both China and South Korea.





Melinda Sandkam
Preschool Director

Melinda Sandkam received her Bachelor of Arts in History at The College of William and Mary. Six years in the hospitality industry gave her experience in event planning. She served as Secretary of the Concierge Society and was named Club Level Concierge of the Year in 1994. Moving into working with children brought her to Oglethorpe Presbyterian as a preschool teacher while being a nanny for three elementary age children at the same time. In 2000, Melinda joined OPC and was ordained as an elder. She then accepted the position of part-time Director of Christian Education at OPC while moving to a full-time Office Manager position at Rock Spring Presbyterian. In Director of Christian Education role, she implemented the first confirmation class in five years and worked with neighboring Presbyterian churches to create a multi-church youth group. In 2006, she brought her experience with events, children and the Presbyterian Church to the position of Program Director at Morningside. In July 2015, she was selected to direct Morningside Presbyterian Preschool. Outside of the church, Melinda especially likes supporting the work of Heifer International.



Rev. Mathew Frease
Youth Director
404.876.7396 ext., 14

Rev. Mathew B. Frease will serve as Interim Youth Director beginning in September 2017. Currently in a doctoral degree program at Columbia Theological Seminary, he holds a Master of Theology degree from the Candler School of Theology, Atlanta, as well as a Master of Divinity from Columbia. In his undergraduate work at Maryville College (TN), Matt majored in Environmmental Studies and minored in Outdoor Recreation and played on the college's NCAA soccer team. He is a member of the Presbytery of East Tennessee.

At MPC, Matt has chaperoned youth trips, served as confirmation mentor, taught adult faith-development and acted as liturgist and preacher. His recreatonal interests include rock climbing, kayaking and soccer. Matt and his wife Ame have one son, Jacob. 




Randy Young
Facilities Manager
404.876.7396 ext. 13



Alicia Oben

Alicia Oben
Office Administrator
404.876.7396 ext. 10


Victor Carballosa